Have you noticed you're tired but you shouldn't be? You had a good night's sleep, but you could take a nap right now. You have activities you would love to do but you would rather stay home and just vegetate.
Some people think it is normal for adults to be tired. I don't agree. Look at a child - he's never tired. What's the difference between a child and you? A chronic feeling of fatigue is a definite sign that something is amiss—it is not 'just a sign of age'. The fact that you are tired means something. You need to put on your Sherlock Holmes hat and do some detective work to figure out what is causing your fatigue.
Does Your Body Run Out Of Gas?
Science tells us that the human body is designed to last 120 years. The headlines recently showed a French woman dying at 122 years of age. Many of my patients say they would not prefer to live that long, feeling the way they feel right now. They key to the aging process—and please accept the fact that you are going to age—is the quality, not the quantity of your life. If you are presently suffering from fatigue, the quality of your life is also suffering.
There are common causes for short-term tiredness. Perhaps your mattress is uncomfortable, or the temperature in your bedroom is too extreme, hot or cold, for you to sleep well. Noise, such as from a TV in another room in the house, may be distracting. These problems can easily be remedied. If your neighborhood is noisy at night, perhaps a comfortable set of earplugs would help you get the rest your body needs. Sometimes the constant drone from a fan helps. If you use caffeine, alcohol, or nicotine late in the day, or watch TV into the wee hours, try changing your habits for a while and see if your sleep improves. You may have to dig around a little bit to spot the cause. However, if after making changes you suspect that you may have an underlying health condition, a visit to your health care practitioner is the proper course of action.
Quite often when you are sick your body will feel tired, since it is using its energy reserves to help heal itself. This is normal, and getting extra rest in order to recover from any illness is essential. The more serious the illness the more time you will need to rest and recover.
Overweight or Underweight
The body of an overweight person is much more susceptible to tiredness, as it has to work a lot harder to accomplish regular, daily activities. The strain on the heart is tremendous, and in the United States, obesity is fast approaching cigarette smoking in its position as the number one preventable cause of death.
Conversely, an underweight person may simply not have enough muscle strength to perform everyday tasks without becoming tired. In addition, many underweight people have a reduced caloric intake, which is another way of saying they are not putting enough fuel into their body. They may not be eating enough or not eating good quality food. Consult a chart to discover your ideal weight range for your height and age, and have that general range as a target for yourself. Your ideal weight should include your ability to enjoy a full active life. You should have energy to work and to play every day.
Lack of Regular Exercise
In today's computer/television/electronic world, we tend to do a lot less physical activity. This leads to muscle atrophy, a condition whereby the muscles in the body fall into disuse and become slack and fatty instead of firm and lean, as they should be. The body literally becomes 'out of shape' - with fat deposits bulging out in unwanted places, such as the hips, waist, thighs, and abdomen. Here is a good example of how we justify the aging process. Muscle tone changes as we age, not because we age but because we don't continue exercising. There's one of the differences between children and adults. Exercise. The less you exercise, the more out of shape you become, and the more tired you feel. Daily, patients come to me asking for the magical pill, the magical diet or program so that they can look like they did years before, and feel like they did years ago. I hate to say it because it sounds too simple, but the magic is in exercise. Diet or no, the body needs exercise. Exercise is one of those ignored anti-aging techniques. You can name your own exercise. The ideal exercise for you is the one that you will continue to do long after your resolve has worn thin. It should become a habit, a part of your lifestyle.
Pregnancy and Breast-Feeding
In the early months of pregnancy most women feel tired enough to need a nap in the afternoon. The tiredness associated with pregnancy can be greatly alleviated with proper nutrition, particularly iron. Check with your health care provider for correct dosage and type of supplementation. Similarly, an excellent diet and nutrition program during breastfeeding can make the difference between a tired, irritable mom, and a mom who has the energy to work, play and give her baby the best possible start in life.
The sudden loss of a loved one, or the ending of a relationship can often make you feel like going to bed and staying there. While it is natural to feel sad for a while, continuing to feel tired and listless for longer than seems appropriate is most likely a condition that can be resolved with supplementation of B vitamins. It is a little-known fact that shock and stress can greatly diminish B vitamins in the body, causing a deficiency, which in turn can cause tiredness.
If you have a situation at home or at work that is causing you stress, again this will deplete your B vitamins, making you feel tired. The solution is to handle the problems that are causing the stress. Believe it or not, there is always a solution to any problem. If you cannot see what the solution is, enlist the help of a trusted friend or family member to guide you though this difficult period in your life.
Sometimes things don't go as planned, and we feel as if we have lost an opportunity that will not come again. Perhaps you wanted to get into a certain educational institute and failed the first time you applied. Maybe you intended to excel in a particular sport and did not do as well as you had expected. Failure to achieve a goal can lead to feelings of tiredness, listlessness, apathy—one just wants to 'give up'. The thing to do in this situation is to set another goal—one that excites you and that you have a good chance of achieving. It could be anything, so long as it is something you really want to do. Constantly setting new goals are the stuff of which an adventurous, fulfilling life is made.
Diet And Tiredness
You may believe you are eating well, but are you eating right? If you were eating the correct foods, your body would feel right and work efficiently. If you are not happy with the way your body looks, feels and functions, you will need to make some changes in your life. It may be time to take a closer look at your diet.
The one thing you can have complete control over, health-wise, is your diet. Now when I say 'diet', I am not talking about a weight reduction program. I am referring to one's every day consumption of fuel; i.e. the foods you normally eat. You just have to find out what it is you are supposed to be eating—depending on your body type—and eat those things. If you do not do this, you may be eating things to which you are allergic, and that reaction may be what is causing the chronic tiredness.
I am going to tell you right now that there is no one magical pill, or protein drink, or protein bar that will fix your problem, and it won't happen overnight. It will take you, in conjunction with your health care provider, rolling up your sleeves and working at locating and eliminating those foods that are not working for your body. It may take some months—how long did it take for your current condition to manifest itself—months? Years? Consider the facts. Look at when you were healthy and what changed. How long will it take you to get back to optimum health, and be sleeping well every single night? I can't answer that question, because it will be different for each person, but the sooner you begin taking the necessary steps to heal your body, the sooner you will feel great again. And that's my goal - you feeling great.
Refined White Sugar and Tiredness
One of the biggest culprits in the ever increasing "Why am I so tired?" mystery is refined, white sugar. I hear you groan, and I understand how you feel, but bear with me. I know that I am not going to be the first person to tell you that sugar is bad for you. But perhaps no one else has taken the time to clarify what kinds of sugar are harmful to you, or explained to you the reasons you love it so much, or offered you sweet alternatives you can live with. Refined sugar not only does not provide your body with sustained energy, it is in fact an energy robber.
But isn't sugar supposed to give you energy, you say? Well, contrary to popular belief, all sugars are not created equal. Yes, our bodies need sugar for energy—but not refined, white sugar. Fruits, vegetables and grains are in fact the proper sources of energy needed by the body and should be what make up the vast majority of the diet, and the only sources of sugar. Your body breaks down these types of complex carbohydrates slowly and gradually converts them into glucose—also known as 'blood sugar'. In short, fruits, vegetables and grains are real, energy-giving foods, while refined, white sugar is in fact not a food at all, but a highly addictive substance. Let me explain.
During the 'refinement' process the original plant - the sugar cane or sugar beet - is stripped of all beneficial fiber and vital nutrients, leaving nothing but a handful of glistening, pure white crystals, as "pure" as cocaine, which is derived from the coca plant or heroin, which originates from the innocent poppy flower. Just a few tiny grains of sugar on the tongue will provide evidence of its intense potency.
Not only does refined white sugar not feed the body, it in fact actually causes damage to the body. Refined sugar crystals, hidden inside of cookies, sodas, muffins, cakes, pies, ice cream, etc., are so 'pure,' that - like a drug - they soak right through the intestinal wall and go straight into the bloodstream, providing far more glucose than needed for that moment. The body needs a sustained, slow release of energy, not a huge, 'burnout' burst all at once, followed by a crash and that yucky, depressed feeling one gets after eating too much sugar. There's a sugar high and then, a while later, a let down. That 'depression' has caused people to go looking for causes other than the right one - the consumption of refined, white sugar. Also, when the body has extra glucose that it cannot use, it is turned into fat and deposited - guess where.
The bottom line is: refined white sugar could be a major contributor if not the cause of your chronic tiredness, and should be consumed in extreme moderation if at all. However, there are a number of really great, healthy alternatives to refined, white sugar, which I am sure you'll love. For more information, see my Sweet Success Report.
Radiation and Tiredness
It is an unavoidable fact that if you live on planet Earth you will, to a degree, be exposed to naturally-occurring radiation, commonly known as 'background radiation'. Background radiation comes mostly from minerals within the earth, traces of radioactive elements within our bodies and cosmic rays from the sun and stars.
While the above is fairly common knowledge, during the past several years I have made some rather disturbing discoveries about other sources of harmful radiation that exist right now in our everyday environment, and how that radiation has affected the overall health of our population. For instance, did you know that cigarettes actually emit radiation, or that your porcelain caps or crowns could be an unsuspected source of constant radiation exposure, or that the tree in your back yard could be emitting radioactive particles every spring? Indeed, a certain man-made radioactive substance has even been found in baby teeth, and is the subject of an ongoing study in Florida today.
Some people believe that accumulated amounts of radiation in the body are not harmful - that only a large dose from an accident can harm you. However, it has become more and more clear that constant exposure to small doses of radiation also are extremely dangerous. In a study conducted by Dr. Abram Petkau in 1972 it was found that prolonged exposures of low-dose radiation could do more damage to body cells than short flashes of intense doses. This study, along with others, shows us that such exposures may be causing unexpected disease and unwanted conditions—such as constant tiredness—among far more people than previously realized.
What is Radiation?
Radiation is made up of harmful atoms that attack the normal cells of the body, those cells to behave abnormally. Often, when irradiated cells can no longer function or repair themselves they will simply die, but for those that live, a change can occur which affects the body's ability to repair itself.
Another key thing to know about radiation is that it is cumulative. It does not just simply 'fade away,' rather it keeps accumulating in your body as you grow older. Although the human body tries to rid itself of radioactive particles through the normal channels including digestion; elimination functions; perspiration; mucus in the nose, throat and chest; coughing; and even vomiting, it is evident that radiation cannot be completely 'flushed out' of the body by any natural means without assistance from an outside source.
What Can Radiation Exposure Do?
Radiation exposure can cause a person to have a weakened immune system and related health problems throughout his entire life. This exposure causes devastating illnesses, such as cancer and degenerative diseases, but it can also cause minor ailments, such as a persistent cough, headaches, sleep disturbances and gastrointestinal dysfunction.
One of the most devastating effects of radiation is that although strengthening the body with nutritional supplements is a good way to build one's health, radiation exposure can actually cause allergies to vital nutrients, and thus cause massive deficiencies in the body. Interestingly, one of the first signs of a vitamin or mineral deficiency is - constant, unexplained tiredness. (For more information on this see my Allergies & Radiation Report).
If you are thinking as you read this that avoidance of radiation is not the total answer to this problem, you are right. Total avoidance of radiation on this planet is going to be impossible for the foreseeable future. Your best bet is to visit a health care practitioner who understands the different types of radiation, and how it has affected your body, since each individual body reacts to it differently. There are things that you can do to remedy the affects and to proof up the body.
Insomnia Medications Are Not The Answer
Insomnia patients are often prescribed strong sleeping pills. Be aware, however, that drugs are not a cure for the underlying causes of insomnia, and can be dangerously addictive. And did you know that some medications for other types of ailments can actually cause insomnia, such as high-blood pressure medicine, and many decongestants and antihistamines, for example? Even so-called natural remedies such as Melatonin and valerian root should be taken only under supervision, as these too have can cause possible reactions.
What's The Solution?
If you are suffering from chronic tiredness and have not been able to solve the problem, my advice would be to first try to find the source of the problem yourself. If it is something simple, try eliminating the cause of your interrupted sleep and lack of energy, and see if that helps.
Here are some suggestions:
- Eliminate sugar.
- Get on a proper diet; high protein, low carbohydrate and fats and give it a chance to work. It may take months. Stick with it.
- Get proper supplements. Foods today are usually deficient in proper minerals, even those that are organically grown, and lack of minerals can lessen the body's ability to use vitamins.
- Be sure your bed is comfortable, that the sleeping environment is healthy (good air quality, clean sheets, orderly, proper noise level.
- Do not eat after 8:00 p.m.
- If you are still having troubles, order Sleep Release from my office. It is a specially formulated blend of herbs that have been found to be highly effective in improving the quality of sleep in all situations.
Also, Visit your health care practitioner so that a program can be designed that will actually address the real source of your tiredness problem and give you the results you are looking for—good, restful, rejuvenating sleep and plenty of energy on a day-to-day basis.
Yours in Health
Dr. J.D. Decuypere
Disclaimer: Statements about products and health conditions have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to treat, cure or prevent any condition or disease. Check with your healthcare professional before undergoing any protocol.